Tennessee Williams: The Creative Act

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

The creative act is a revolutionary one, often a violent one. The world does not recognize your worth--the worth of your work--until you thrust it upon them. The artist has to create a work of art with all the sensitivities required, and then forcefully ram it into the minds of those who will either accept or reject it.

There are no weak artists. Not for long.

It is not so much that you want or need to share your story: You must demand that it be heard. You must become an advocate for its telling. This is not an easy task, but it is decidedly worthwhile, and it is the only thing I know I can do, even if the strength sometimes fails me.

The desire to tell the story never fails. My spirit, however, falters a lot.

There are no excuses for an artist: You get back to work. You write. You revise. You hector. You promote. You accept the consequences, good or bad. And then you repeat the process.

There is a time for discussion of the burnishing of words and the placement of paragraphs, and then there is a time for discussion of working the field. Every artist spends time in the field, and not everyone has the skills.

Get the skills or get out of the theatre. Most of the theatre is the field. This is sad but this is true.

© 2014  James Grissom


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